Mar 20, 2011

Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake

The chocolate tweed angel food cake is the only cake I've made that was an utter failure. So I decided I'd better use this Free Choice week to redeem myself. I have made one plain angel food cake that turned out great (for Angel Food Cake Any Way You Like week), but the tweed version still eluded me. Now that I've made three angel food cakes, I can say that they are very, very easy. From now on, I'll make them whenever my stash of frozen egg whites needs to be used up. Unfortunately, I must have used that stash for something else, because I rooted around in the freezer and found a lot of interesting--mostly unlabelled--stuff (is that veal stock or chocolate ganache?), but no frozen egg whites. So I cracked eight eggs. Now I have eight egg yolks.

The first time I made an angel food cake (the failure), I was worrying about never having done it before. The second time I made it (the non-failure), I was worrying about the failure. It took the third time for me to figure out that it's just a lot of beaten egg whites with flour, sugar, and flavorings whisked in. This time--because it's chocolate tweed--the flavoring was grated chocolate.

I went whole hog on Green  Black's. For the cake, I used a deep 85% chocolate (I was supposed to use unsweetened). For the whipped cream, I used 60% chocolate with hazelnuts and currants (I was supposed to use plain chocolate and ground almonds). For a person like me--who tries never to veer from the recipe in the slightest--these minor changes were exhilarating. I felt like I was in college, sneaking out of the dorm.

Here's what I still don't get the hang of: you're supposed to "sperad a thin layer of batter onto the sides of the prepared pan to ensure smooth sides." I did this, but apparently I didn't do it well enough because I still had some holes and bumps on the sides.

The cake will "sink to almost level with the pan when done." Check. "The surface will have deep cracks, like a souffle." Check. I let it bake for another two minutes, just to be safe. I put the pan over a funnel and let it cool. The cake did not fall out of the pan. This means that it's a success, no matter what it tastes like.

My junior-sized, eight-cup angel food cake pan (for which I used half a recipe), is only one piece, so you really have to have faith that the cake will somehow extricate itself from the ungreased cake pan. Surprisingly, it did.

If you're feeling critical, you can look at this picture and see that the sides aren't smooth. If you're feeling happy, you can look at the picture and see all the grated chocolate.

I believe that this is the first time I've ever sliced an angel food cake into three tiers. And people say there are no thrills left after you're 65.

What could be better on a chocolate tweed cake than chocolate tweed whipped cream? Also known as chocolate-spangled whipped cream.

My only question now is what I'm going to do with all those egg yolks.


Karen: "It's really delicious, and I don't even like angel food cake. It tastes like real cake--it doesn't have that nasty artificial taste that angel food cake usually has. And it's just the right amount of chocolate. I didn't think I'd be able to finish it, but it was so good."

Jim: "Angel food cake usually tastes kind of gummy to me, but this cake has a nice texture. The little bit of grated chocolate adds a lot of flavor."


evil cake lady said...

Success--yay! I still remember your photo of your sad fallen cake, and I also remember how good this cake was.

All those yolks could be made into curd. Isn't it seville orange time? That could work itself into next week's Orange Glow Chiffon, if you haven't made it yet.

NancyB said...

Three cheers for conquering the chocolate tweed angel food cake!

Gee, I could use those yolks--I see the chocolate raspberry trifle is ahead of me, which calls for some insane number of yolks for the pastry cream. Pity Minneapolis and Atlanta are so far apart. :)

Lois B said...


I loved this cake but have yet to make it with the whipped cream.

Marie said...

What?! There is no curd in the Orange Chiffon cake. You're encouraging me to deviate from the recipe again. (Good idea, though).

Yes, I don't think it would be worth a flight to Atlanta for an egg yolk drop.

Much as I loved the whipped cream, I think the cake would be lovely on its own.
Maybe when I build up my frozen egg white supply, I'll try it sans whipped cream--as a diet cake!

Jenn said...

HURRAY for angel food cake success.
So soon you can say you've made all cakes in the book successfully. That's an awesome accomplishment Marie!

About the egg yolks, you can also make the neoclassic buttercream and then stash it in the freezer. Don't forget to label it though :). Too bad we're not neighbors. I have enough egg whites in the freezer to make TWO angel food cake!

evil cake lady said...

Well, you know, you could serve the curd on the side, or whip some into whipped cream to serve with the cake...or just eat it with a spoon!

Marie said...

You're not far behind me. I like the idea of having buttercream on hand. I also like the idea of having labels on the stuff in my freezer.

Yes, that wouldn't be too radical. Too bad Hanaa hates curd. (Odd, isn't it?)

Hanaâ said...

“hate” is a strong word. It’s the strong smell and taste of eggs that I can’t stand. Ok maybe I do hate curd :o) Actually the one thing I miss about the upcoming orange chiffon cake is chocolate. I love chocolate and orange together. Enough about me, let’s talk about your AFC success. I’m sending you a virtual high five! It looks marvelous and you did such a great job slicing it so evenly (without the fancy schmancy cake slicer at that!). I think we should call you the AFC Queen from now on :o)

Monica said...

Look at you ... breaking rules! You go Marie!

I was totally going to do the Golden Almond Cake choice, except we took a road trip to Miami over the weekend and well, got sidetrack (all those latin pastries calling my name), figure I was going to bake it tonight, but, I just stared my new job today and I'm brain dead - wayyy to much information and there is more to come, the on-boarding/orientation last a WEEK! I see it moved to the next FREE CHOICE.

A tip on labeling... buy the painter take at your local home depot (or masking tape at Office depot) and hang it on a hook close to your refrigerator, this way it's close by and when you put something away, write what it is on the tape and put it on the container.. voila - no more "guess whats in this container" game.

inthekitchen said...

I love the close up of the baked cake with the grated chocolate showing through...uneven sides? All I could see was tiny nips of melted chocolate :)

I've never made an angelfood cake so am impressed the way it followed your direction - level, cracks, popping out of the pan!

Good luck using up all your egg yolks. I vote for a lemon curd :)

Vicki said...

Yay! Success! Lemon curd.

Marie said...

We'll have to figure out how to get a little chocolate with this cake without changing the recipe too much. Maybe I'll just put a chocolate bar on your plate.

You are so organized! I don't have hooks hanging around to hold useful things. (But I do have a junk drawer--that would be a likely place for masking tape).

I baked a bread today that called for four egg yolks--that put quite a dent in my jar of yolks.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

marie et all: forgive my less responsive presence. believe me, i never miss a week of seeing what everyone is doing but guess what i'm doing in addition to working on the next book: i'm renovating the bathroom and office in hope, nj in anticipation of an eventual move. anyone who has ever done this knows how it's like writing another book--the details are staggering and the education process straight up hill. it's especially challenging bc i plan to live there for the rest of my life so don't want to make any major mistakes. but i'm lucky to have several great advisors and participants so it's also a joyful process as well. it should all be completed by july so i can start to live sanely again. and once we know for sure when we're moving i'll move on to turning the entire basement into a baker's kitchen. i'll be posting THAT on the blog for sure.

Carrie B. Fisher said...

I discovered your blog a couple months ago when I was under the weather. Reading about your cake and bread adventures provided great entertainment to this frustrated patient!

There is a chocolate angel food cake w/chocolate icing I have loved since I was 11ish years old. After 4 decades of baking it, it remains my favorite cake. There's no telling how many I've baked for family and friends over the years - dozens and dozens of eggs! And every single cake has been inverted and cooled, a task that was easy when I used my old inherited tube pan. I had the perfect wine bottle for the task. Yet when I upgraded to a fancy new pan a couple years ago, I was mortified to discover I had no suitable bottle. Every cake in the new pan has been precariously rigged in a nerve-racking and haphazard fashion.

This week you have shown me the way to renewed peace in the midst of cake-cooling: the simple funnel. Can't believe I've never thought of or heard of this idea. Thank you for this stroke of genius! Can't wait to try it out next c.a-f. cake! Maybe I'll even give the chocolate tweed a try!

Hanaâ said...

Although I like the chocolate bar idea :o), I think I'll bring some leftover Midnight Ganache from the Devils Food Cake I made for this week's Free Choice (post will be up tonight!).

Marie said...

Lots of the HCBers have gone through renovations, and understand the joys and agonies (plus the lack of time). But don't stop work on the cookbook! We need more Rose Recipes.

My mother used to make a chocolate angel food cake that I loved too. I think I'll eventually try to track down her recipe.
My small funnel worked perfectly for my small cake pan--I think you'd need a larger one for a full-sized pan.
Hope you're all recovered now.